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Visa Waiver Program
 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced implementation of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a new fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

ESTA screening became mandatory for VWP travelers on January 12, 2009.

ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and VWP travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States.

To access and complete the ESTA registration, please visit the official U.S. Government ESTA website at the following address: www.cbp.gov/esta

Please note that travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries  must pay a fee of $14.00 when applying for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA- Electronic System for Travel Authorization). 

Please be aware that a search of “ESTA” in popular search engines results in links to commercial websites that offer assistance in obtaining ESTA approval for a price well above $14.  We do not endorse these websites nor do we consider it necessary to pay a higher price to obtain commercial assistance to receive ESTA approval. 

Visa Waiver Programm - Participating countries

Andorra Australia Austria Belgium
Brunei Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece
Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy
Japan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Malta Monaco The Netherlands
New Zealand Norway Portugal San Marino
Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Korea
Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
Taiwan

Nationals of the member countries can travel without a visa for tourist and business travel of 90 days or less provided they meet the following requirements: 

·   Possess a machine readable or an e-passport (see link)

·   Register on-line through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

·   Meet the standard VWP conditions (Please see below)

Review the Visa Waiver Program quick reference handout (PDF - 211kb), as well as this webpage to learn more about VWP travel.  For more details about the Visa Waiver Program Expansion, please visit CPB website.

For citizens of Canada, Mexico, and British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, please visit State Department's Travel website.

How can I tell if my Swiss passport is valid for visa-free travel on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

Passport Model "03"

Passport model “03”, if issued before October 26, 2006 is valid for VWP; if issued on or after October 26, 2006 you must apply for a visa. “03” model passports have a pattern of raised crosses on the cover and use a plastic card for the data page.

Passport Model "06" (biometric passport)

Passport model “06” is valid to travel on VWP. Please be sure to find the e-passport icon on the cover of your passport. “06” model passports closely resemble the “03” models, but include the special biometric icon on the lower right corner of the cover.

Passport Model "10" (biometric passport)

Passport model "10" is valid to travel on VWP. Please be sure to find the e-passport icon on the cover of your passport.

Emergency Passport / Swiss Temporary Passport

Because they are not currently biometric, Swiss emergency / temporary passports  are not  valid for travel to the United States. These passports can only be used in conjunction with a valid U.S. visa. 

CH Passports and Visa Waiver

  • Model “06”
    Model “06” biometric
  • Model “03”
    Model “03” machine readable
  • Temporary PP
    Temporary PP emergency passport
  • Model “85”
    Model “85” old CH passport

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